MANATEE -- Give your kids some space and they'll come around. Don't preach to them. Just love them.
That's the message that pop star Katy Perry's parents, traveling ministers Keith and Mary Hudson from Orange County, Calif., gave during a visit to The Source Church, 5412 E. State Road 64 on Sunday.
It seems to be working in their case. They say their daughter is getting more interested in faith all on her own, without their pushing.
The Hudsons, who have been traveling together and preaching for 32 years and have visited the Manatee County church four times, are longtime friends of lead pastor Joanne Hoehne and her husband, Ralph.
The Hoehnes started The Source seven years ago.
The Hoehne's vibrant church now counts about 400 to 500 Manatee County members and three times as many around the world who listen and watch at tapintothesource.com, Joanne Hoehne said,
Speaking before a crowd of about 100 during the 9 a.m. service, the Hudsons talked about their daughter, who was brought up in a home filled with the Bible and Christian thought, but decided to take a more worldly direction.
"God's got his hands on your sons and your daughters," Keith Hudson said. "They will turn around. God is working behind the scenes. Never judge anyone. Don't judge the entertainers. Don't judge Hollywood because you don't know what God has done in their lives. You just stay faithful. Don't preach to them. Love them. They just want you to be mom and dad. They don't want you to be spiritual mom and dad."
In 2008, when Perry released the song, "I Kissed a Girl," the Hudsons expressed more strident views regarding with what they saw as Perry's drift from her Christian upbringing.
On Sunday, however, they said while they don't understand everything in Perry's world, they accept her and love her.
"Someone said to me, 'How, Rev. Hudson, did you your daughter come out with a song that said, 'I kissed a girl and I liked it,'" Keith Hudson said.
"How? I don't know how. You do your best. You bring them up."
Then, Hudson, who was wearing skinny black jeans, a black leather jacket and a huge cross on a silver chain, shouted as if the answer suddenly appeared in neon before him.
"You and I have to reach out to this generation with our hands and accept them just the way they are, with all their tattoos, with all their purple hair and with all their piercing," Hudson said.
After the service, Mary Hudson, who just released her book, "Joyful Parent = Happy Home," said she thought Katy Perry has come to a realization about the power of faith all on her own. She mentioned Perry's halftime show at this year's Super Bowl.
"That day, Katy tweeted, quoting Psalm 118:24, 'Today is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it,'" Mary Hudson said.
Perry said she prayed and meditated before the half time show and she "received a message from God right before she performed," Mary Hudson said. "She said that God told her, 'You got this and I got you,' " Mary Hudson said Sunday. "Then, during halftime, Katy was on top of a lion and she saw one of the tech guys wearing a headset and, out of the blue, this guy looked at her and said to her, 'You got this.' It was God confirming it."
Sue McCarthy, who attends The Source, said the Hudson's words struck her.
"It moved me," McCarthy said. "What they were saying is, 'No judgment. Just love.' "
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@RichardDymond.